Last Monday found me feeling like crap with a cold setting in. Tuesday brought more of the same. By Wednesday the cold had worsened to the point that I decided to go see my doctor. Turned out I had a wicked sinus infection, complete with fever that I didn’t know I had. He sent me home with antibiotics, decongestant/cough medicine and a steroid (which I didn’t take…the side effect sheet freaked me out too much). I stayed home from work Wednesday and Thursday. I hadn’t trained since Saturday and decided to do a short slow 30 minute run on the treadmill Wednesday afternoon, just to see how I’d feel. It wasn’t pretty or pleasant, but I did ok and decided if I didn’t feel any worse when Saturday rolled around, I’d go ahead with the race. I felt a bit better Thursday morning and did a 30 minute spin on the trainer. Later I did a 20 minute swim. I had zero zip during either workout, but I knew I’d be able to do the race. I went back to work Friday, took it easy all day and did no workouts.
The alarm went off at 5:30am Saturday morning and I felt surprisingly good compared to the previous few days. After breakfast, I loaded up my gear and made the 45 minute drive to the race site. I checked in, got my race packet and readied my transition area. The great thing about local races is seeing all the familiar faces and catching up with everyone. Before I knew it they were calling us down to the lake for the pre-race meeting. Soon the horn sounded and the race was under way. I completed the quarter mile swim almost 3 minutes slower than the previous year. The course was obviously longer than last year because all the swim times were slower than the previous year. T1 went smoothly and I exited feeling good. I went as hard as I could on the 13.6 mile bike course and entered T2 feeling a little less than fresh. I knew the week of being sick was beginning to be a factor when I exited T2. I’ve never felt so bad starting a run. I had nothing….NOTHING. The first mile was an effort to just keep running. I finally started feeling like I could push the pace a bit after the first mile. I increased my pace over the second mile and just tried to maintain during the remainder. I was very glad to cross the finish line. I was extremely thirsty and devoured two bottles of water immediately after crossing the line. I was just glad to be done and have another race under my belt. That first mile of the run will be a mental time capsule I’ll tuck away and be able to call on when things go bad in future races. As usual, I forgot to hit the stop button on my watch when I crossed the line, so I hung around for the results to be posted. I knew I was about a minute slower than the previous year, so I had no expectations of placing any higher than the middle of the pack. Half an hour later the results were posted and I was amazed to see I’d placed 3rd out of 17 in my age group and 34th out of 185 overall. My times were: Swim - 9:17 (1.6), T1 - 00:44, Bike - 38:06 (21.4mph), T2 - 00:41, Run – 25:05 (8:06), Overall time – 1:13:52. I headed home after getting my award knowing I’d performed much better than I’d expected…even if the run did suck.
The most exciting event of the week…. actually maybe the year…. was after many attempts, my daughter finally rode her bike unassisted without training-wheels for the first time yesterday morning. As we sat out on the patio having breakfast, I noticed her bike sitting there and had the urge to take the training wheels off and let her have another go at riding. Soon I had the training wheels removed and we started the wobbly process. I quickly noticed her balance was way better than it’d ever been. Within 10 minutes she was covering 10 yards on her own, then 15, then 20. Her enthusiasm was off the charts and I was covered in sweat from running along beside her the whole time. After a short breather, we headed out in the alley where she rode from one end to the other. After another 15 minutes she had it down. It was awesome to watch.
And speaking of bikes I finally got around to snapping a few shots of my new ride.
My tri season is pretty much over for this year. There’s one more Olympic distance race I’m considering, but it’s not a definite. I have a metric ride with friends next weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. I have several fall running races scheduled and I’ll begin training for those soon. I’ll probably take it easy the next couple of days and let my body fully recover from the cold before ramping the volume back up.